U.S. senators: 'Zero doubt' MBS ordered killing of Jamal Khashoggi

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

U.S. senators: 'Zero doubt' MBS ordered killing of Jamal Khashoggi

He has consistently reminded the press that the crown prince told him he had nothing to do with Khashoggi's disappearance.

CIA Director Gina Haspel addressed an audience in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 24.

The CIA said Haspel didn't attend because she had already briefed congressional leaders on Khashoggi.

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it", Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker told reporters after Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel briefed a small group of senators.

There's not a smoking gun.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", said Republican Sen. The Senate ultimately passed that measure by a very wide margin, and debate on the resolution itself is expected to begin soon.

Tuesday's briefing comes as the Senate weighs punishing the longtime Middle East ally over the killing. "Now the question is how do you separate the Saudi Crown Prince and his group from the nation itself?"

"I am going to assume they are being good soldiers", Graham said.

Corker also suggested that the briefing last week, which featured Pompeo and Mattis but not Haspel, was entirely misleading.

"If he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes".

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

Senators were upset that Haspel did not appear with Mattis and Pompeo, which led to Tuesday's session.

"I left the briefing with high confidence that my initial confidence is correct", said Sen.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, meanwhile, blamed the lack of information on the supposed "Deep State", rather than on the administration.

Khashoggi was killed two months ago.

The Saudi position has been that the 15 assassins who traveled to Istanbul on October 2 and murdered Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate were rogue operatives acting without the knowledge of the crown prince or the king. He was killed in what USA officials have described as an elaborate plot as he visited the consulate for marriage paperwork.

USA intelligence officials reportedly have concluded that the crown prince, known informally as "MBS", must have at least known of the plot.

Trump has said it's unknowable whether the Crown Prince was actually behind it - despite the Central Intelligence Agency concluding this with "high confidence" - while Pompeo said last week that there was no "direct reporting" implicating him. "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!". The Senate voted last week to debate the USA assistance, and additional Senate action is expected in the coming days.

"While I will not discuss the content of the Haspel briefing, it reinforced the need for a strong response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi", Schumer said Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer in a statement. "But a complete fracture with Saudi Arabia, in my view, is not in our best interests".

Graham wrote in the Journal that "it is important for Congress to signal that there is no excuse for recent Saudi behavior". "We have to have a relationship with these countries". "After all, someone's got to do it". Kennedy, who also was not invited to the briefing, said was Paul was "right".

Senator Corker said it would be "difficult" to come up with legislation that could pass the Senate.

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